Sunday
Aug302015

Standing UP for Weight LOSS

It is funny to think that something as simple as regularly standing up can have so many health benefits. Not just for reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes but also reduce your risk of weight gain. And if done at the right time even help with weight loss. 

Sitting for any length of time may not be good for us, as more and more evidence shows that sedentary behaviours including sitting, watching television, using a computer, and driving a car are risk factors, independent of physical activity, for adverse chronic disease in adults such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and much more. You can do a long run every night, but if you sit too long during the day you still increase your risk of these chronic conditions. In a study of 2,761 women and 2,103 men without clinically diagnosed diabetes, sitting time was detrimentally associated with waist circumference, BMI (body mass index), weight gain, blood pressure, fasting blood fats, HDL cholesterol, two-hour postload plasma glucose, and fasting insulin. A sure way to put on weight. In a meta-analysis using 48 studies, a consistent relationship of sedentary behaviour with mortality was found with weight gain from childhood. That is, the greater the sedentary time in childhood, the greater the weight gain. 

It appears that any type of brief, yet frequent, muscular contraction throughout the day—such as standing or moving—may create healthy epigenetic signals which positively alter the body’s biochemistry and metabolism. One of these is a particular muscle chemicals, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), a protein enzyme has been studied in depth because this enzyme has a central role in several aspects of fat metabolism. Experimentally reducing movement by sitting had a much greater negative effect on LPL regulation than a positive effect of adding vigorous exercise training on top of the normal level of non exercise activity. In rat studies the amount of time spent sedentary influences how our bodies process fats given that leg muscles only produce the lipase lipoprotein (LPL) fat-processing molecule when they are being actively flexed, either standing or moving. What this shows is that by simply standing up more frequently you increase your muscle activity to reduce sugar and fats in the blood. To achieve even better effects you can stand up after a meal rather than sitting down and watching Television. In support of this one study reported that independent of total sedentary time and moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity time, increased breaks in sedentary time were beneficially associated with waist circumference, body mass index, triglycerides, and 2-hour plasma glucose. While in a study of 70 adults involving sitting for nine hours, regular activity breaks lowered plasma insulin levels and lowered plasma glucose when compared with prolonged sitting, even when compared with physical activity. While physical activity lowered plasma triglyceride more with regular activity breaks, activity breaks were more effective than continuous physical activity at decreasing negative blood sugar and insulin levels in healthy, normal-weight adults. 

Overall, there is a compelling case for sitting reduction to be included in clinical preventive advice as a key component of “active living,” where adults and children are encouraged to “stand up, move more and sit less” across different settings and locations throughout the day. Just standing up every 20 or 30 minutes can have a remarkable health benefit reducing your risk of many chronic illnesses. How simple is that. The results of these studies suggests that, at a minimum, we need to be breaking up our sitting time every 20 to 30 minutes. 

So it is now time to stand up for your health and weight loss!

Interested in learning more on the latest research on weight loss from Dr Peter Dingle? His latest book - Unlock Your Genes for Weight Loss - is now AVAILABLE TO ORDER

Sunday
Aug302015

Toxic Living

Most people don’t realize that we are surrounding ourselves and exposing ourselves to a wide range of toxic substance every day from the air we breath, the food we eat even the chemicals we put on our skin. Everything we take in the home and put on our skin is potentially contaminating our body and our health. So we need to chose wisely.

We are introducing many new, synthetic chemicals into our homes, using them on our skin and hair and in our mouths and breathing them daily, yet we really do not know what impact they have on our health—or for that matter on the environment at large. 

The reason we use so many toxic chemicals in our homes is that we have been sold fear by the industries selling the products. They try to make you feel inadequate, dirty and paranoid about a few smells or bacteria in the home when the greatest health risk comes from the chemicals they sell you. This is not to say you can ignore home hygiene, rather, you just don’t need these chemicals. It is all media hype.

While it is recognised that lifestyle and dietary factors are contributing to the increase in cancers and chronic, degenerative diseases, there is also no doubt that chemicals, both synthetic and natural, are playing a role in making us sick. I have seen this proven through my research and the research of my students. Even more compellingly, I know this through the thousands of people I speak with every year who are suffering ill health due to chemical exposure. Most of these people are ill from exposure to what we accept as “normal,” everyday chemicals in our homes, bathrooms and bedrooms.

Most people believe that 'if it's in the shops, it can't hurt you’, and are under the false impression that toxic ingredients are not permitted in products for sale. Unfortunately even s cursory glance at any ingredients list reveals that most of these products are a mixture of many toxic chemicals.

 

COMMON CONSUMER FALLACIES

* I can trust in the safety of the products I use.

* My health is not affected by the products I use.

* Labels are accurate and consistent and list all of the chemical ingredients in the products I use.

* The government adequately regulates these products and in the process protects me from chemicals known to harm my health.

* I can trust the companies making the products I use because they put my health before dollars and cents.

If you believe any of the above statements, it is time to discard them and to arm yourself new knowledge. Next time you shop, take your awakened awareness and your new consumer power with you.

Know that:

* Just because products are sold over the counter doesn’t mean they won’t harm you. 

* Just because these products aren’t making you sick right now, doesn’t mean they aren’t affecting your health in the long term.

* If  products don’t have the ingredients listed, the manufacturer isn’t giving you information that could affect your decisions and your health.

* Current government legislation is incomplete and doesn’t protect you from a huge range of chemicals that are known to harm your health.

Despite what the authorities say there is very little regulation of chemical products, cosmetic and even personal care products and none to prevent the inclusion of thousands of toxic ingredients and their contaminants. Nor is there any obligation on the manufacturer’s part to sell products which will actually do what they claim to do. 

Sunday
Aug302015

Cooking and It's Effect on Food

Cooking food can have a negative effect on digestion, by both destroying enzymes and other nutrients that aid in the digestive process such that heat and processing, reduces the amount of co-factors and co-enzymes, which are essential for efficient digestion. Co-factors are inorganic microntrients, which includes, zinc, iron and copper, which are important for the function of many digestive enzymes. Co-enzymes are organic molecules, such as vitamins, that also assist in digestion.

Digestive Enzymes cleanse our colon. Foods that are not digested properly are stored in our colon and digestive problems can begin. Undigested protein putrefies, carbohydrates ferment, and fats turn rancid in our colon.  The enzymes from live raw foods prevent this from happening. Excess enzymes from these foods can also be absorbed into the blood and assist with numerous health conditions, including attacking cancer and viruses.

Poor or inefficient digestion can cause a number of health conditions, ranging from arthritis to Azheimer's, to cardiovascular disease to cancer, as well as, diseases of the digestive system. An estimated 40% of Australians have lower gut disorders and one in five Australians is known to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, and the number is on the rise. Other conditions of the digestive system include: colitis, Crohn's disease, leaky gut, gluten intolerance, bloating, acid reflux, heartburn, constipation, diarrhoea and food allergies. Other health problems that can develop as a result of poor digestion include: fatigue, yeast overgrowth, acne, depression, obesity, high blood pressure, circulatory problems, chronic inflammation and auto-immune disorders.

Enzymes are literally the life force and it is well established the higher the supply of enzymes you have in your body, the slower you will age and the more resistant you are against degenerative diseases. In general the duration of life varies inversely with our enzyme activity and the older we get, the weaker our enzyme activity becomes - this is not just an indication of lost enzyme potential, but a reduction in the enzyme potential of the whole body, both digestive and metabolic enzymes.

If you take you health seriously I suggest start with a raw plant based smoothie each day. You might be surprised at not only how good it is for you but also how quickly you can make it!

For more information and inspiration grab a copy of the 6-Week Healthy Eating Planner by Dr Peter Dingle & Martine Dingle - BUY HERE

Monday
Jul272015

Medications and Murder - Are the Mass Shootings and Murders Linked with Pharmaceutical Drugs?

An interesting article by David Kirschner PhD (September 10, 2014) raises the spectre that many of us have been thinking - Are the mass murders that seem to be occurring more frequently in the US linked to medications?

He suggests it is in this opinion piece in the National Psychologist article. Some quotes from the article show his concern... 

 “As a forensic psychologist, I have tested/evaluated 30 teenage and young adult murderers, and almost all of them had been in some kind of ‘treatment,’ usually short term and psychoactive drug-oriented, before they killed.

“After each episode of school killings or other mass shootings, such as the Aurora, Colo., Batman movie murders and Tucson, Ariz., killing of six and wounding of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, there is a renewed public outcry for early identification and treatment of youths at risk for violence.

Sadly however, most of the young people who kill had been in ‘treatment,’ prior to the violence, albeit with less than successful results.”

“Most of the young murderers I have personally examined had…been in ‘treatment’ and were using prescribed stimulant/amphetamine type drugs before and during the killing events. These medications did not prevent but instead contributed to the violence by disinhibiting normal, frontal cortex control mechanisms.”

“Prior to the violent event, for which he is currently serving a life without parole sentence, Jeremy [Strolmeyer], an honor student with no history of violence, was misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ‘treated’ with nothing more than a bottle of Dexedrine following a brief 20-minute ‘cost-effective’ psychiatric consultation.”

“And so, despite ongoing congressional debates regarding stricter gun control laws vs. improved access to mental health treatment, our concern should be about the quality of mental health care, not just a societal safety net insuring treatment for all children and young adults. Almost all of them are covered by some type of managed care or insurance company, and the issue is not access to preventive treatment. The real problem, in my opinion, is the quality and competence of therapy for potential violent offenders when insurance companies are the gatekeepers.” 

I would suggest we can take it further and wonder if the murders that occur, when no one can explain the sudden change of behaviour of the father who loved his children, are also linked to antidepressant medication?

This is not as far-fetched as recent experience has shown me that a few medications mixed together can completely change the character of a person. One minute individuals are normal and then 30 minutes or less later totally paranoid. Add in a bit of alcohol and we end up with a toxic cocktail and altered mind states that no one seems to be able to explain.  Unfortunately, this does not get reported in the mainstream media nor does anybody seem to be collecting information on it.

While antidepressants come with warning about suicidal tendencies and changed moods perhaps we should look deeper into these drugs. This problem is further highlighted by the over use of these drugs that in most cases are not effective. The work by Professor Irving Kirsh when he published his research back in 2009 under the title of “The Emperors new drug” showed that these antidepressant drugs were no more effective than a placebo. This research has now been duplicated many times yet these drugs are the mainstay of treatment for psychological and emotional conditions. Other research out of the US shows that around 87% of people who are prescribed antidepressants don’t even have depression. It is no different here in Australia and I have met dozens of people who are prescribed these drugs for trivial reasons including fatigue. 

It is time we raised more questions about the use of these drugs and looked at changes in diet, lifestyle, environment and attitude that have been shown to be more effective and with only positive side effects.

Wednesday
May062015

Bringing the Nutrients Back Into Our Food Nutrient Density

In the beginning there were healthy, whole foods packed full of nutrients. Today half the world is plagued by starvation and the other half from too much nutrient-depleted, calorie dense food. Times have changed and so must the way we look at food, nutrition and our health.

The modern day processed “white foods” such as sugar, bread, white rice, seed-“vegetable” oils and processed breakfast foods are full of empty calories and low in nutritional value. Unfortunately these foods now make up a large portion of the average Western diet. Meanwhile, most people rarely consume there required intake of fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans and other nutritious food. When they do consume vegetables, often it is in the form of over-processed potatoes without the nutrient-dense peel, and deep fried in “cholesterol and saturated fat free over processed vegetable oils”. The average American, British or Australian eats only one or two vegetables serves per day, a couple of pieces of fruit and a lot of over-processed and nutrient-depleted foods. These nutrient-depleted foods often require nutrients in order to be digested, absorbed, utilised and eliminated from the body. The cost of this may actually deplete the body of nutrients rather than providing them.

It is generally recognised that our bodies require some 90 essential nutrients which include:

16 vitamins;

12 amino acids;

3 essential fatty acids; and

20 or so minerals or trace elements.

As well as a growing list of phytonutrients such as antioxidants.

Rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes, cardio-vascular disease cancer and other chronic illnesses continue to be linked to a growing consumption of refined grains, added sugars and “empty calories”, as well as a major nutritional deficiencies. Refined grains, processed vegetable fats, and sweets are inexpensive, palatable, and convenient. However, they can also be energy-dense and are low in vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. The World Health Organization has found sufficient evidence to link high consumption of energy-dense foods to the global obesity epidemic and chronic illness.

Concerns that the standard Australian/American diet (SAD) has become energy-rich but nutrient-poor have been expressed for many decades now. Unfortunately, the food industry has consistently slowed positive change and confused the situation even more. Claims like “low fat”, no “added sugar” or “protein enriched” are just perplexing the situation more and causing long term harm. We now know that saturated fat, salt and cholesterol in food is not so bad for us and definitely not the demon it is made out to be by dietetic organizations who derive large sums of money from the sugar and vegetable oil industry. For example, eating foods with cholesterol is not bad for you according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) of the US Government. So it is not bad to eat eggs, particularly given that they are relatively nutrient dense and they are much better for you than cereal breakfast foods. Protein enriched breakfast foods also translates to added gluten, the protein linked with gut conditions including celiacs disease. Just recently the sugar industry has been discovered subverting policies to restrict sugar consumption by blocking information linking sugar with tooth decay over many decades. The sugar industry is now attacking the World Health Organisation who want to lower the recommended sugar consumption by even more.

Calorie counting is another example of a distraction from nutrition. Most of the diet programs count calories and barely even touch on nutrition. This is the root cause of why these program don’t work. People make judgments on the foods they eat based on calories, “low fat” or “no cholesterol” rather than eating healthy nutritious foods. Having tunnel vision and simply focusing on these issues at the cost of giving consideration to any of the other food issues is absolutely wrong and will never have a positive effect on your health and wellbeing. Simply counting the calories and balancing it with your exercise is a sure way of developing nutritional deficiency and illness that goes with it. The trick is to choose foods with high nutrient density that fill both needs at the same time. Whole foods tend to have the most nutrients for their calories.

Attempts to translate dietary guidelines into practice, as formulated by professional associations and expert panels have also tended to focus on the negative. In many cases, healthy foods are defined by the absence of problematic ingredients like fat, cholesterol, sugar, and sodium, rather than by the presence of any beneficial nutrients they might contain. In the UK the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute defined healthy foods by low amounts of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium per serving. The definition of healthy foods adopted by the American Heart Association was also based on the virtual absence of fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol and on a low sodium content per serving. The demonization of these ingredients has occurred at the expense of more sugar and processed omega 6 fats being added. Both which are inflammatory and linked with many forms of chronic illness. Processed fats and sugary foods don't have the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to be healthy. That's why we call these calories empty. “The World Health Organization has cautioned against the excessive consumption of energy-dense foods, notably those high in sugar and fat.

The National Cancer Institute included in its former definition of healthy foods all fruits and vegetables in their natural form, with the exception of avocados, nuts, olives, and coconut. The exclusion of avocados, now rescinded, and was based purely on fat content and did not take the beneficial nutrients in avocados into account. But going against any common sense and science they still restrict nuts and coconuts. The research on avocados, nuts and coconuts is overwhelmingly positive. It seems these professional guidelines are just opinions.

The key to optimizing your health and achieving your ideal body weight is to eat predominantly those foods that have a relatively high proportion of nutrients (non-calorie food factors) to calories (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins). Adequate consumption of micronutrients—vitamins, minerals, and many other phytochemicals—without excessive calorie intake, is the key to achieving excellent health and weight loss. The nutrient density in your body’s tissue is proportional to the nutrient density of your diet. Dietary guidelines now recommend that consumers replace some foods in their diets with more nutrient-dense options.

Unlike food labels which list only a few nutrients, nutrient density scores are based on many more important nutritional parameters. Nutrient density refers to how many nutrients you can obtain from food, given the number of calories it contains. Similar to the way energy density focuses on calories per serving, nutrient density is a simple way to highlight the link between nutrient content and calorie count. Foods that are nutritionally dense provide the most nutrients for the fewest number of calories. Any systematic nutrient dense score should include fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, vitamin A, beta carotene, alpha carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin E, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, choline, vitamin K, Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids as well as other phytonutrients and antioxidants as a percentage of their Dietary Reference Intake (DRI).

Not surprisingly the most nutrient dense foods tend to be plant foods, in particular leafy green vegetables. Also, because phytochemicals (plant based chemicals) are largely unnamed and unmeasured, these rankings may underestimate the healthful properties of colorful, natural, plant foods. The nutrient density of natural whole foods may be even higher. Nutrient density scores demonstrates the nutritional power of green vegetables, particularly compared to processed foods and animal products. Even though attention should be placed on these nutrient rich foods, it is also important to achieve micronutrient diversity.

While there are many challenges associated with nutrient density, it is by far the best indicator of the nutrient base of foods. In reality the energy density of foods is not always determined by their sugar and fat contents. Often, energy-dense foods are simply those foods that are dry. Water, which provides weight but no calories, influences the energy density of foods more than any macronutrient, including fat. Examples of dry energy-dense foods are potato chips, whole grains and cereals. In contrast, fruit, vegetables, and milk are energy-dilute. Although the overall inverse relation between energy density and nutrient density may hold, not all energy-dense foods are necessarily nutrient-poor or vice versa.

The automatic assignment of all energy-dense foods into the “bad” category seems arbitrary and is not based on any particular metric or scale. Furthermore, what can be included in the nutrient density scores is only what is currently available from various databases. For example at present it is limited in antioxidant data.

For maximum effectiveness, nutrient density models need to be transparent, based on publicly accessible nutrient composition data, and validated against independent measures of a healthy diet and should be based on 100 kcal and serving sizes performed better than those based on 100 g.

Nutrient density also has the advantage of shifting attention from diets back to foods and people don’t need a calculator or an advanced degree in math or nutrition to calculate what constitutes a healthy diet.